The women of Nepal continue to face a wide range of discriminatory practices that overshadow their potential for growth and development. National statistics show that women’s literacy rate is only 30 percent in comparison to 66 percent for men. As well as not only is there a lower involvement of women in technical and vocational education than men, only 24.95 percent of women are currently enrolled in post-secondary education.
The belief or actions that the lives of daughters are not worth the same as boys, which result in the abuse of the girl child through negligence in any form, including feticide.
Son preference leads to the malnutrition of girls that are associated with increased risk of childhood illnesses, early childhood marriage, and also untimely death.
The lack of importance given to educating women remains a reflection of social norms and culture found in Nepal in which girls are often regarded as less important than boys. In many rural areas, girls are still considered as “paraya dhan”(others property) and have limited opportunities to access education. Even in the family dynamic, most marriages continue to be arranged with the women having little status within her in-laws family. Women are continued to be expected to complete menial jobs and work long hours often with no gratification. In the family home, they are expected to not only care for her husband and children she is also required to contribute to the family income through back-breaking labor in the fields.
The Volunteer Society Nepal understands and sees the benefits of educating women and providing equal opportunity for all children. Research has shown that families of literate and educated mothers have higher standards of hygiene, lower birth rates, and an increased likelihood of children going to school. The Girls’ Sponsorship Program in Nepal was created in hopes of bridging the gaps in education for males and females. The focus and hope of the program are that even a small amount of contribution can change and benefit the lives and community of many poor and needy children.
Volunteer Society Nepal involves local community leaders in the selection process and ensures that all sponsorship funds go directly to the child and their education, and as well stays in close contact and communication with the child and their family, helping to ensure the success and continuation of their education. Parents also play a major role in providing quality education for their children hence it is also an aim of the Volunteer Society Nepal to work with families to increase the understanding of the value of education for their children and community.